Saturday, November 04, 2006

Trans-Texas Conquistadors

These career politicians deserve your vote of "NO CONFIDENCE."

Rick Perry, Governor (R)

Rick Perry: "Leading Texas to the bottom, and Proud of It."

Texas is at a crossroads. In Southern folklore the intersection of two roads can be an evil place where dark forces converge. And so it seems, Rick Perry, on his political journey, discovered the "Crossroads of the Americas" and sold his soul to the devil, who promised to fulfill his ambitions. With the help of big money lobbyists, attorneys and a legion of "yes men" in the Legislature, he set in motion the Trans-Texas Corridor. Perry's $200 billion corporate welfare boondoggle program would kick tens of thousands of Texans off their property, then lease it to a Spanish Corporation, who would profit from their debt, gas taxes and toll fees for the next 50-70 years. This is happening, even though 90% of Texans, only now learning of the TTC, don't want the project. Two-thirds of Texas voters don't want Perry either. Still, he slithers into office with 39% of the vote. Why? Because there is no runoff election in Texas. When the Houston Chronicle asked Perry if he was concerned about being a minority governor, he snapped, "I don't think that matters one twit [sic]. We'll still have 100% of the authority." The Devil, you say?

Todd Staples, Agriculture Commissioner (R)

Todd Staples: "On the road to paving Texas Agriculture."

He's not as pretty as Perry, but Senator Todd Staples is following in the cloven hoofsteps of our Governor. Although Todd touts his big league experience in the Future Farmers of America, one of his more notable accomplishments as Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee was his contribution to HB 2702 --which included even more enabling legislation for the Trans-Texas Corridor. This was promoted as the 'cleanup ' bill for HB 3588. But when you read the fine print, you'll see that it removed some of the last remaining legal roadblocks for the TTC. Lately Staples has been saying he's 'against' the Corridor, but we aren't fooled. Anyone who has worked with political animals will tell you to watch what they do, not what they say. Let's not get stapled again.

Leiutenant Governor David Dewhurst (R)

David Dewhurst: "Keeping Campaign Donors First"

'Lite' Governor Dewhurst is mostly invisible to regular Texans, so they may not be aware that Perry's Boondoggle couldn't have been possible without his help. Dewhurst, an ex -CIA case officer, presided over the Texas Senate, whose Transportation Committee, chaired by Todd Staples, worked diligently to get the Transportation Code and eminent domain statutes changed for the Trans Texas Corridors. Dewhurst is one of the largest recipients of TTC contractors and has aspirations for higher office. Should Perry be kicked up the ladder by the Prince of Darkness, Dewhurst would ease into the the Texas Governor's mansion, just like tricky Rick did. God save us all.

Tom Craddick, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives (R)

As speaker of the Texas House, Craddick presided over House Bill 3588 in 2003, which approved the Trans-Texas Corridors. This gave Perry's political appointees at TxDOT more power and muscle to use eminent domain. Craddick's man, Mike Krusee, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, had a whole squad of lobbyists writing HB 3588, while the rest of the castrati in the Texas Lege provided a rubber stamp. In the next Legislative session Craddick's Conquistadors passed another transportation abomination, HB 2702. If a sucker punch is supposed to teach you something, I guess we needed two. Thanks for the lesson, guys. Not long ago, Commander Craddick got into some deep doo-doo over a ‘wish list.’ Apparently he wanted to give his Speaker’s apartment in Austin an extremist makeover, which included two $1000 industrial-strength toilets--paid for by lobbyists [feel free to insert your own joke here]. Voters could give the Texas House a makeover--without the help of big money lobbyists. They won't be able to vote against Craddick directly, but they could knock him off his throne by electing a few more Democratic Representatives, or at least shipping some of those Republican bum steers to the packing plant.

Gregg Abbott, Attorney General (R)

Greg Abbott: "Protecting Corporate Predators."

In 2005, more than 200 pages of Perry's contract with Cintra- Zachry were being withheld from the public. Corridor critics were hopeful when Greg Abbott ordered TxDOT to release ALL of the information. Then TxDOT and their new boss, Cintra-Zachry, sued Abbott's office to keep it a secret. Ric Williamson, Perry's pal who was appointed Chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission, didn't want a skeptical public to know if they were being swindled. When TxDOT sued the AG's office, everything ground to a halt --for almost 18 months. Why was that? The Attorney General's office was apparently working both sides of the case. That's right. The AG's office was working for the public 'Gregg Abbott,' who ordered the records released, and for TxDOT 's new bosses, the private highwaymen, who were suing to keep them secret. We now see that this AG's primary goal is his own self-promotion, covering his backside and getting re-elected. There now, don't you feel safe?

Jerry Patterson, General Land Office Commissioner (R)

"Coming Soon: Jerry Patterson- The Liquidator"

Jerry Patterson was an extra in the 2004 movie 'The Alamo.' In the flick, you can see him a crowd after the battle of San Jacinto yelling "Hang 'em!" Judging from his slick campaign flyer, our gun-totin' Land Commissioner would like to be back on the silver screen--a 'Dirty Jerry,' if you will. I must say, when I found his flyer on my door step, it certainly made my day. In it, he calls himself "the Maverick," and says "Texas needs less political grandstanding." He also expresses his passion for old Bob Wills tunes. He gets rave reviews in his flyer, which calls him "A Real Person." Jerry doesn't say much about the TTC, but all you need to do is watch what he does. He touts his record of raising revenue from the state's land holdings and fostering 'public-private partnerships': The flyer reads "Jerry has expanded the revenue stream to include sound real estate investments." A 'maverick' is supposed to be someone who refuses to abide by the dictates of a group; a dissenter. No dissention here. When it comes to liquidating Texas, Jerry Patterson is Rick Perry's go-to man [LINK].
Funny how the Austin American-Statesman, in their reflexive endorsement of Patterson stated: "Patterson recognizes the potential for conflicts of interest in public-private partnership projects." Swallow that one, and I've got some property to sell you in the path of TTC-35. If Governor Perry has his way with the Trans-Texas Corridor, Texas politicians, in the name of the state, will grab another half million acres of your private property for their buddies' "revenue stream." And now, thanks to recent legislation, (refer to section 203.055 in House Bill 2702), the state can conveniently convey it to a private tolling company. How's that for slick?

If regular Texans don't wake up and smell the asphalt, guys like Jerry Patterson will keep on humming Bob Wills tunes like: 'The Spanish Two-Step, ' and' Can't Get Enough of Texas,' while the rest of us will be wailing 'Weary of the Same 'Ol Stuff.'

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